12 Tricks That Bartenders Use to Make You Spend More

10 months ago

Nice bartenders who offer free cocktails and snacks aren’t always sincere: perhaps they’re trying to gain your trust to trick you. They can be true wizards who turn wine into champagne and strong tea with pepper into expensive cognac so well that you don’t even notice it.

Bright Side has investigated the case and now knows which tricks dishonest bartenders use to fool their clients.

12. Soaking instead of pouring

Before serving a cocktail, a bartender can soak the edge of your glass on a plate with alcohol or wipe the edge with a sponge soaked in alcohol so that some liquid remains on your glass. Then they add a lot of ice, soda, and just a few drops of gin. And when you drink your expensive cocktail, you smell a strong alcohol odor that comes from your glass, but not your drink.

11. A “non-measuring” cup

We’ve all seen this metal measuring cup that bartenders use. But we often have no clue that it hides a secret that allows them to save up to 40% alcohol. Some bartenders glue metal discs to the bottom to reduce the space and the amount of alcohol inside. And you wouldn’t know the difference, especially if your glass is oval.

10. Bar pourer

The dispenser on top of the bottles is called the pourer. It was created to not only make bartenders lives easier, but this tool also creates a visual effect that makes you believe a bartender has been pouring alcohol in your glass for a rather long period of time.

9. It’s all about the straw.

Skilled bartenders can add some alcohol inside your cocktail straw or keep it in alcohol in advance. So when you take the first gulp, you think that your drink tastes strong, even though it doesn’t contain a lot of alcohol.

8. Free snacks

Some savvy bartenders might offer you free snacks: like salty snacks, chips, or nuts. This will make you want to drink more, so that you’ll most likely order more cocktails.

7. Different proportions

Bartenders also use another method to gain your trust. For example, they add less soda so that your drink tastes stronger, though the amount of alcohol in your glass remains the same. You just drink it faster and order another one since you think the bartender likes you because he’s added more alcohol to your cocktail.

6. Try, don’t just choose with your eyes.

The simplest trick bartenders and bar owners use is when they replace the liquor in an expensive elite bottle of alcohol with that of a cheaper brand. Use your instincts. If something doesn’t look right or taste right, send the drink back.

5. Designer tableware

Experienced bartenders prefer dark or matte glasses with a thick bottom, so that you think there’s more liquid than there actually is.

4. Just add some water.

Have you ever noticed how much ice remains after you finish your drink? To keep ice from melting too soon, bartenders can add some cold water to your cocktail. In cold water, ice melts slower and, thus, ice dilutes the alcohol less.

3. A special order

If you want to order your favorite cocktail, but it’s not on the menu, a bartender can still prepare it for you. As a rule, a really expensive alcohol won’t be used, but this cocktail will definitely cost a fortune.

2. More foam

Dishonest bartenders can pour less beer than they actually should and whip the foam head above your beer using a blender. It’s recommended to not drink it right away, but wait until the foam settles and politely ask them to top off your beer.

1. Drinks made from air

Bartenders are really creative people and they sometimes invent incredible cocktails that gain worldwide popularity. But some of them create new methods of preparing elite drinks, using simple and cheap ingredients. Thus, “cognac” can be created by mixing vodka, pepper, and strong tea, and “champagne” is created with the help of cheap white wine and a siphon that creates bubbles in your drink.

In order to not to let bartenders trick you, watch them while they prepare a drink for you. Order simple cocktails, ask for no ice, and ask them not to mix the ingredients, so that you can see the amount of alcohol. All in all, it’s better to become good friends with a bartender and never forget about their tip.

Have bartenders ever tricked you?


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I also signed up to this site simply to tell the author (and I can't believe I'm saying this): You need to go to bartending school. Because for fuck's sake no bar would let you train for a day to see how things really work after the publishing of this pile of bullshit you call an article. It'll be a nice exchange since you've wasted people's time by lying about our profession, you should go waste the money Brightside gave you for this trash on learning some basic things about our industry. "Metal measuring cup"? Its called a jigger, douche canoe. And who knows? You might actually learn something, however doubtful that may seem based on your inability to create real content by...what's that thing journalists do? Oh, right. Research. But I'm just a bartender, so what do I know?


Are you actually serious? Bartenders bust their ass to please everyone and work ridiculous hours on top of that while getting paid next to nothing. To write such a disrespectful and outright false article is disgusting. This should be taken down and the author should be very ashamed of themselves. How dare you.


or trolling?? Favourite part: serving vodka with tea and pepper as cognac - I might just copy and paste this whole thing and submit it to mcsweeneys.


Who the hell wrote this?? Please don’t write anything ever again, you suck...stop lying...


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